Empirical Economic Bulletin, An Undergraduate Journal


Trade liberalization has long been a debated topic; free traders will argue it makes all involved parties more prosperous while protectionists say that it costs jobs and hurts countries’ economies. This paper will study the relationship between a country’s trade freedom, as measured by the Heritage Foundations trade openness metrics, and the nation’s economic performance. This study will incorporate indicators such as gross domestic product, unemployment, and investment flows across 56 countries of different income levels to determine whether free trade policies lead to greater economic performance. The three income levels analyzed will be high-income, medium-income, and low-income. The empirical analysis portion of this report shows there are statistically significant relationships between trade and key economic variables including GDP, gross domestic savings, inflation, unemployment, and broad money